Monday 17 December 2018

Drive to sell Irish TV shows to China and Australia


Francis Brennan whose Grand Tour show will be seen by audiences in Australia and China.
Francis Brennan whose Grand Tour show will be seen by audiences in Australia and China.

Simon Rowe

The Belfast-based independent TV production company behind hit RTE series such as Francis Brennan's Grand Tour, At Your Service, Frock Finders and travel show Getaways is hoping to repeat that success with viewers in Australia, China and Vietnam.

Waddell Media has appointed TV industry expert John Caldon to its board to help drive sales and distribution in the Australian and Asia-Pacific market.

Caldon is managing director of Flame Media Group, a Sydney headquartered independent production firm. The well-known Australian company produces, acquires and sells factual, entertainment, documentary and lifestyle programmes for broadcast. Flame represents 100 international producers with 2,500 hours of content on sale to markets across the world.

Waddell Media managing director Jannine Waddell said Caldon, a former deputy MD at Macquarie bank, will bring a wealth of expertise in tax and finance, as well as many years' experience of producing and distributing successful TV productions around the world.

Caldon has already found a lucrative secondary sales market for Irish TV favourites in new territories such as South Africa and New Zealand, said Waddell Media managing director Jannine Waddell. China and Vietnam are the next territories that Caldon aims to crack.

"So far John has sold a lot of our back catalogue that was so kinda Irish that I thought it wouldn't find an audience but he's been able to find an audience for a lot of that content," said Waddell.

As part of the company's new push eastwards, Waddell Media executives had the opportunity to pitch their factual-based programmes to a group of Chinese TV buyers during a trade visit to Belfast this weekend organised by Invest NI.

The TV production firm, which is based in Holywood, Co Down, has 25 full-time staff.

It posted a net profit of £455,000 (€516,000) in 2016, according to recent company filings. This represents a significant increase on the £360,000 (€408,000) net profit figure recorded in the previous year.

Sunday Indo Business

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